Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Hope To Return Bearing Good News!

WonderCon 2011 is this weekend, and for those in the San Francisco area, it's going to be bigger then last year. With lots of shineys. For the 25th anniversary some of the leading cast members of the new Green Lantern movie will be there and host a panel. There is also rumor that Thor and Captain America previews will be shown. So enjoy your weekend! I know I will be. XD

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why I hate in-game pre-order bonuses.

So I was watching South Park online last night to unwind after a long day. Back to back there were two commercials for upcoming games. The first is the new Mortal Kombat, where if you pre-order at GameStop you can get Scorpion’s original costume from the first game. The second was for Portal 2, which was also a costume bonus that you can only get at one retailer and no where else.

Now some of you might say, so what? Why does this matter? The completionist side of me always hates that I can never fully finish a game. When I start something I have to finish it. That can be everything from an art project to an episode of a tv show. Including video games. Why? Because it unsettles me if I don’t finish something to it’s fullest extent. And because multiple retailers offer multiple pre-order in-game bonuses, unless you pre-order at every retailer, you can never really finish a game. And that blows.

I’m not talking about the bonuses where you get a hat or a t-shirt. I mean the bonuses that give you a weapon that you can’t get anywhere else in the game, or a costume that you can’t unlock for a character at any other time. I’m sure the response from some people is, “well, why don’t you pre-order the game at every retailer with a bonus?” My response is I don’t have $500 bucks to continually pre-order items and then return the 15 copies back for refunds. I shouldn’t have to go down that route in order to complete a game. I should be allowed to obtain those bonuses somewhere in the game through hard work. If I pre-order it and get the item earlier, cool. But if someone doesn’t pre-order, they should be able to have access to the item if they put time and effort into the game. A pre-order should be a bonus of getting the product earlier or something special before everyone else.

Tangible pre-order bonuses, cool. Feel free to throw more posters and keychains my way. I love my Phoenix Wright keychain and Katamari phone strap. But the in-game items just add annoyance to pre-ordering games. I can never fully achieve completion. So what if a costume is exclusive if you buy from a particular retailer? Unless you buy a copy of the game at every single shop with a bonus, you can never say you have truly finished the game. And that makes me a sad geek.

Apologies for the rambling. It just annoyed me last night when I was trying to relax. XD

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Take-Two Casting Call.

Maybe for GTAV? That's the rumor. Take Two has posted a few listings with large talent companies seeking out voice actors. They have even listed a few characters and have described them. There's Anthony, a young boy who's fighting for the right of all boys to be able to drink and have sex. And then you have Jose, a white creepy male who thinks technology is a poison. Sure sounds like GTA characters.

The one that stands out in the casting call is James Pedeaston. For anyone who has played GTAIV, Pedeaston was a radio show host and was being investigated by the FBI for child molestation. Clearly he'd still be allowed on the air in the world of GTA.

So if you're interested in some voice acting work and a chance to be in a Take Two game, there you go.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weinstein Brothers Looking To Make Video Games

I'm still trying to determine why people are so insistent on making video games based off of movies. I know that there are marketing companies that think it's a good idea. Make a game from a movie it's gotta sell, right? As I've said before, movie based video games tend to suck. Even now as I think about it, I can't recall one that's been worth spending money on to purchase, let alone rent. I'd be surprised if there was a game that made back the money spent on development and marketing.

So why the Weinstein Brothers, Scream, SpyKids (yes they want to make games for both of those), and recently Academy award winning The King's Speech, wants to branch out into this field is beyond my comprehension.

From the company's perspective, past attempts at diversifying the brand have ended up being financial mishaps. Another level of "wtf" to add to the mix. From their PR department, the idea is to push past franchises that have done well on the big screen and develop them into lucrative games across multiple platforms. AKA, they see the money Zynga makes from FarmVille and everyone wants a piece of the pie.

Social commentary time. What movie studios seem to not understand is how to properly develop a game. Simply taking the story and plopping it onto a cd isn't enough. There needs to be a way to balance the story of the movie and making it into a playable format. Which is why so few video game movies work. Resident Evil is currently the most successful franchise, internationally, but is one that is very least like the games. Really the RE movies just borrow names and create a brand new story that has little to no relation to the games. Tomb Raider did much the same. So did Prince of Persia and the upcoming Uncharted movie (which will only have the title character's name and that's about it). When you attempt to pull in the interactive nature of video games to a movie format, it just doesn't fit. The same applies to the reverse, putting a movie into an interactive format.

And I don't know if there is a good way to translate the two media's. It's the same as taking a tv show and turning it into a movie, or vice-versa. Star Trek and M*A*S*H are the only two that worked in this format. The rest...just suck. Until we get to the point in technology that movies are more interactive (NOT 3D!) and the audience has the ability to immerse themselves into playing along, we might see the video game/movie combo work. Until then, enjoy Resident Evil 5, not like the game!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Decade of Gaming Villains

First off, someone must have been incredibly bored to sit down and hammer this out. Second, US shooters still seem obsessed with "Cold War" era politics as a topic because man, a lot of bad guys come out of Russia and China.

Peter Rubin of created a map highlighting the country of origin for gaming villains over the past decade with first person shooters. Now it'll be fairly obvious when you view the map that it is a very select list of games, with a select list of non-English speaking countries. It would have been much more interesting, and more realistic/open-minded, if Rubin had done a percentage graphing of each country with a wider selection of shooters. Instead it's a map of Ghost Recon.

It's still an interesting concept to get gamers to look at their games and see what they are truly playing. It just needs to be taken a step further. Think about Resident Evil or Killzone. The main bad guys are American and Brittish. Clearly Rubin has a very focused point of view. Someone needs to expand the mapping.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

12 hours in 012.

The prequel to Dissidia, duodecim (meaning 12 in Latin) has “new” characters, new upgrades, and a shiny cover. Initial thoughts of the game were as follows: thank god I updated my PSP yesterday, holy crap it takes an hour to do the data install?

It’ll make sense as you read on.


The “action” setting in battles has sped up. It feels more like an updated take on traditional fighting games. Unlike the original where you had several seconds to push the X button to chase down an opponent, this time you have to be quick on the button mashing.

MvC is a nice touch. And by that I mean the Assist system. So very old school Marvel vs Capcom. It allows you to have more unique combos and HP kills without disrupting the pace of battle.

Much needed “new” characters. One of my complaints about the first game is that there was not enough variety, or women. I understood the set-up and why it worked, but I didn’t like that there were a lack of choices. The “new” cast adds more life to the line-up. Though I’m sure people are still doing their Cloud vs Squall battles.

DP to KP. That crazy DP system in the first game? It’s been replaced by everlasting Kupo! With DP you could get chapter bonuses, such as AP, xp, or a random assortment of items, but only for that section of the story. It’s been replaced with KP, which transfers to all characters in story mode (yea!) and can be used to buy items from Moogles on the world map in the story. It allows for more customization of your characters and a better chance at picking up rare items that you might not win with DP.

World Map! As part of the graphics update and the no-more puzzle piece feel of the fighting levels, there’s a world map. You can kind of, sort-of see how all of the battle arenas are connected to one another…through dimensional gates. The world map allows you to fight random battles, pick up items, and play with the Moogles.

Loads of customization! The options in this game have been greatly boosted from the previous. You have one on one battles with the CPU, of course, still there, but the addition of creating your own quests, including dialogues and screen animations, round-robin battling, and more descript options, were needed upgrades.


We need more bad guys. Some of the most memorable bad guys are in 012, but not all of them. You know who I remember fighting all of these years? Seymour (FF10), Seifer (FF8), Zorn and Thorn (FF9), Xande (FF3, and technically the main villain, not Cloud of Darkness), and basically anyone from FF11 and 13 since those villains are noticeably absent on 012. If we’re talking about a battle between the gods, I’d bring in all the ammo that I could, including the names listed above. While some of the good guys go to the bad team for a little bit, it’s not the change that was needed. You know what would be nice? The ability to make your own character. Who doesn’t want to be in a Final Fantasy game? Something to think about.

New Game + isn’t a New Game +. You can move your character levels, PP unlocks, and some achievements from Dissidia to 012, but that’s it. All of those weapons and armors you spent so much time working on? Gone. Those summons? No longer there. I understand trying to play on a more even field, but did you have to take away my Lionhart? If we took the time to play Dissidia at 100+ hours, we should be allowed to keep some of our items. Just saying.

Rare item drops and equipment upgrades take forever. Currently I have Yuna, story mode, at level 24. She’s still wearing level 1 gear, because that’s all that’s available at the shops. Like Dissidia, 012 has the same item system set up that if you buy or obtain the base item for a product, the upgrade will appear in the shop. 12ish hours in and I’ve only seen one upgrade item appear for a level 30. So not only did none of my items transfer in New Game +, I’m going to get kicked in the butt with having to take twice as long to get “rare” items. Great. Thanks SE.

Still need adhoc to play online. Also a dumb idea in need of a massive upgrade. If you want to play with friends, you still got to boot up adhoc and hope for the best. The only addition to online play for fighting only is that you can add characters to your roster for round-robin style or assist. Nothing has changed in this arena, which is annoying.

World Mode feels like needless fan-service. Is it nice to have a break in the monotony of moving from one game-board to another? Yes. Does World Mode really need to be there? No. Just stick the Moogle store next to the shop in the main menu. Done! World Mode is there just to make the fans happy. It really serves no other purpose.

If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, you probably already picked up this game. If you’re not, you probably won’t even look at it. If you’re in-between, the combat of 012 has been improved and feels more active and immersive then before. Worth a look at the very least.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hackers Can Be Used For Good Deeds

Sometimes they're offered jobs. and free stuff. So I'm sure the guy that fixed Rift, formerly a PC cracker and now leads a small company that deals with data security, will get the same treatment.

The game has been hit with a series of hacks since it's release. No more then 1% of the total gaming population, but there are over 1 million active accounts. So 1% of a million is still a lot. A user named ManWitDaPlan was able to figure out the issue stemmed from login troubles and helped the Trion developers save their users. This feels like a weird turn on the South Park episode Make Love Not Warcraft

Trion has expressed gratitude to the user. They have stated that the "hackings" have all been in-game related, i.e. stealing of items, armor, and gold. Personal information has not been hit. Nice of Trion to not try to play the blame game or the cover-it-up drama. At least they're honest about the issues.

As an aside, WTF Apple. o_O

Monday, March 21, 2011

Game to Help Kids to Combat Lyme Disease

With Spring kicking, officially this weekend, all of the cute, cuddly, furry animals are returning home and bringing along insect friends that like to carry diseases.

In an effort to spaz out parents, and "attempt" to keep kids safe, the Lyme Disease Association and the New Jersey Medical School have partnered to create a video and interactive game about Lyme Disease. It'll be aimed at children grades 4-8 and inform them the basics of the disease: what the tick looks like, how to distinguish a tick bite from other bug bites, and the symptoms of Lyme Disease.

With the use of technology, particularly the internet,  kids can read stories about others experiences with Lyme Disease, and play games such as catch the tick. "Learning should be fun for kids. It's particularly important when it comes to learning about diseases," said program designer Concetta Polonsky. Ok, I can't argue with that. But I don't think putting kids in the shoe's of being a tick and trying to "tackle" kids is not the best direction for prevention.

It's not a bad idea. Anything to help kids understand the world around them is always good. But the article sort of fails to mention how many children contract Lyme Disease on a yearly basis to make this worth while. Time to Google! According to the Infectious Disease Society of America, roughly 20,000 people contract Lyme Disease on a yearly basis. Primarily dominant in the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas, but ticks can travel anywhere. While that is a lot, that's 20k out of 300 million people so I think that's less then .06% of the US population? I'd like to point out that I suck at math. True Lyme Disease can be a concern for long-term chronic pain if not treated, and while I support gaming being used as a learning tool, I don't know if the approach the LDA is taking will be the most effective. There's no effort being made to implement this into schools or associate it with advertising. Merely a website for people to visit and hope for the best.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Boondock Saints Turning Into A Video Game?

Yeah. Um...what?

Duffy, the director of the two Boondock movies, was in Austin for the South By Southwest Festival and opened up on a potential video game to add to the franchise. 

"We're thinking of making a video game out of 'Boondock' and I went and listened to these guys pitch me the game and they had already done some programing," said Duffy. "They had already built part of the game and I got to play it."

Who "the[se] guys" are, it doesn't say. It could very well be a large gaming studio such as EA, (anyone remember the Godfather game?), or Vivendi, known for it's movie spin-off games such as Scarface: The World Is Yours. But the director of Boondock seems very interested in the concept of making a game. The most important aspects to him is to keep the gritty feel of the movies, and to allow people to play all of their favorite characters.

Personally, I don't know what to make of it. I mean, it's great that he wants to expand upon the franchise from it's cult status, but movie games tend to suck. I don't think any of us want to see Boondock fall into the same pit.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Peter Molyneux Promoting Vigilantes!

Sometime on Thursday, someone decided to be a dumb-butt and break into his car, taking a laptop, I-Pad, and passport.  If you don't know who this man is, shame on you for one. Secondly, he's the mind behind Fable and Black and White. So what did Molyneux decide to do? Go to Twitter and offer a £1000 reward for finding the culprit and bringing back his things! Um. Yeah. I don't think Twitter was meant to be used in this manner. But if that's how you want to go sir, we'll follow you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Only 5% of games are rated M.

The ESRB released a summary of the ratings issued to new products in 2010. And it's surprising to see the chart. M rated games, which people feel dominate the market, only make up 5% of the 1,638 ratings issued last year. E takes the most at 55%. What I'm surprised to see is that T was only 21%. That's generally the rating I see the most of when I go into a store. Final Fantasy, The Sims, Rock Band, even some of the popular dancing games are rated T for some odd reason or another. So it's interesting to see that, while they take the second spot, they don't make up a larger chunk of the pie.

But it brings up an interesting point. What were the top sellers in 2010? Realistically, no one on the internet seems to have accurate numbers. CNBC says it's New Super Mario Brothers Wii, while VGChartz is going with Call of Duty: Black Ops on an international scale. But it appears to be a combo of CoD, Wii Sports Resort, Halo Reach, Red Dead Redemption, and Mario Bros. Oh and Pokemon. Can't forget the Pokemon. Ok, so a better question. What are the games that we remember last year?

The ones that stand out at Halo Reach, Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. All M rated titles. But why do I remember them? Because or marketing. Those are the commercials and the massive online ad spams that I remember over the other games. Are they better games because of the marketing? I'd argue otherwise, with the exception of RDR. I think there is much more playability in DKC Returns and Epic Mickey then in Halo Reach. But, smaller studios. Smaller budget. You're not going to hear as much about those titles in comparison to the money that is dumped into the Halo franchise. Which is why there is probably there is a slight shock to see that only 5% of games last year got an M rating when advertising and the media would have us believe otherwise. So what are your favorite games? Are we really focused on the Mature titles or do we look for entertainment in the E to T range? Something to think about...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan Temporarily Powers Down

Even if you are living in a hole, you probably know about the earthquake that hit just outside of Japan on March 11, and the ensuing tsunamis. It's all a tragic loss, of course and for those looking for ways to help, if you can't donate money, then donate your time.

With the impact affecting more then the tsunami zones, several companies are in low-energy mode. I.E. in order to conserve energy from power plants that have been damaged, they are killing servers and holding back game releases until things are back in order.

SquareEnix was first by taking down all online services for Final Fantasy 11 and 14. Fans of 11, at least, are taking the opportunity to donate their monthly fee to help those in need, and I'll be doing the same. Kojima's official Twitter account has stated that they are taking down the Metal Gear Online servers as well to help with power conservation.

But a few games have been canceled or massively delayed. Tokyo based developer Irem has canceled a disaster, action game Disaster Report 4, after the quake/tsunami. Morotorstorm 3 and Yakuza: of the end, have also been delayed due to their content (urban environments depicted as ruins). Even Capcom is delaying the release of downloadable content until further notice (Marvel vs Capcom 3 additional characters).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Free Realms And A Repeat

Free Realms is coming to the PS3 on March 29th. As with the PC version, Free Realms is a free-to-play MMO. But if you want to get past level 4, you need to pay a monthly or a life-time fee. Currently there is no cross-platform functionality. I.E. if you're on PC, you're not going to be playing with someone on the PS3 and vice-versa. There will be a full set of trophies that can be earned. Also, accounts are not cross-compatible. If you have a PC account it can not be transferred to the PS3. Loads of people are commenting on the blog posting, so guess there was a lot of interest for this. Free-to-play MMO's are a hot commodity these days. And you can ride a dinosaur. >.>

Oh, and hurray to this guy for agreeing with my point about a "Citizen Kane" of video games. Just not on my blog and not about me. But that's ok! At least the feelings are mutual.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Code Loophole leaves Microsoft out $1.2 Million

Yesterday afternoon, someone was offering free Microsoft points without having to fill out stupid surveys or providing your credit information. And it left Microsoft with a huge chuck of profit out the window.

Hackers determined am algorithm that to add to existing, used codes, thus creating a new code. Not every code is a guarantee, but refresh the set-up a few times and you got yourself a couple hundred Microsoft points to work with. It took a few hours, but Microsoft was able to put a stop to the exploit. But some people have reported being able to collect up to $200 in codes before it had ended.

It's hard to say what Microsoft will do at this point, no pun intended. It's very possible that some of those codes that were made are on new cards, sitting at a retailer, someone managed to randomly guess. And with the numerous transactions on Xbox Live everyday, it may be difficult to ascertain which ones were legit and which ones were not. But I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled a Sony. Good note for future companies. Don't make a coding system that 12 year old can break. >.>

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

10 ‘More’ Things I Have Learned From Video Games

With a growing population of youngsters playing video games at an average of 14 hours a week, though probably more now as the study is 5 years old, gaming can be a wonderful teacher. So I present another list of 10 things video games have taught me, in no particular order.

(All Games) If someone or something other then you dies, they will fade right before your eyes, and come back to life 3-5 minutes later in roughly the same location. Generally with more items/gold to loot off their corpses.

(FPS) For all the infinite ammo in the world, you will always only have 2-3 grenades, max. Make good use of them.
(Doom) You know a really bad guy is around the corner if you see a health pack and a load of ammo sitting next to each other.

(FPS/GTA) If you shoot a tank with a handgun enough times, it will explode. Weak military budget?

(Halo/Borderlands) If you hear a seductive female voice in your head, always listen to her. She will guide you along the right path.

(Half-Life) Gravity can be completely removed from your existence with the use of a weapon. (Kids, really don’t try it at home.)

(Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) Pizza will always regenerate your health. And you won’t gain a pound!

(Any Bioware Game) If you want to sleep with the girl, you have to sit through a lot of long, meaningless dialogue…ok this one might actually be a real case scenario for a lot of you. lol

(Resident Evil) Sure you can shoot the metal padlock off that door. But if it’s a wooden door you better find a key. Bullets won’t open it.

(Mortal Kombat) You know you have won the fight when your opponent stands still, awaiting your final move.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

RumorMill: Homefront Leaked a Week before Release

Right now it's just hear-say and forum banter. But after a few images and a YouTube video, some are speculating that THQ's new, and most popular pre-ordered game in history, may have been leaked early. The dev's are not having a good month. Even with the great pre-order sales, they are facing potential layoffs. Now their game might be out for free. For their sake, don't download it if you find it for free. Just buy it. Think about little Timmy when his dad gets laid off for people not paying for the game he worked 3 years on.

Homefront is a new FPS set in the future of the U.S. Think of it as Red Dawn with Korea. In fact, the man who wrote Red Dawn and co-wrote Apocalypse Now, John Milius, was in charge of the story. It's already caused a series of changes for the Japanese release to remove North Korean names/places, but it's one of the few FPS that focuses on a current, real-world possibility if we're not careful in politics. And it has pretty graphics, of course.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Game Devs Dislike Nintendo and Apple?

In an odd article from CNN at GDC (Game Developers Conference) this past week some developers decided to diss on papa Nintendo and cousin Apple. Trip Hawkins, best know for EA and 3DO, stated that Apple was providing an illusion of a practical business model for downloadable games for third-party developers

His argument focused on the sheer number of games available for download to the IPhone and IPad. With over 350,000 apps, what's to tell them apart? Well good marketing and nice graphics would help, I'd imagine. Hawkin's other complaint is that developers aren't receiving enough back for games being downloaded, which he estimated on average about $4,000 a game.

His issue with Nintendo? They introduced licensing. Hawkins really doesn't like the deals that come out of Nintendo. He's wanting the system to go back to a simpler time. You know. Back when the video game bust happened because there were no stable business practices and everyone was copying everyone else and there was nothing to regulate the system. It's only good for third party developers for so long before it breaks apart. The article is a good, and slightly amusing, read.

Oh and Kotaku, could you please stop calling FFXIII a failure? It sold over a million within it's first month of release. It beat out your precious Mass Effect 2 on sales, released in the same month. It's received a multitude of high marks from numerous, worthy, publications. You and your staff may not have enjoyed the game, but you have a load of people commenting that did. So if you'd stop bashing, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Judge Letting Sony Have IP's To All Whom Visited PS3 Hacker's Website

This could be a problem.

A judge has ruled in Sony's favor to obtain all IP's from everyone who has visited the PS3 hackers website from January 2009 to present. Of course this raised a bunch of concerns regarding web privacy. Sony also won to look at details from GeoHot's YouTube, Google, and Twitter accounts. Why this much info? A Sony representative stated two key reasons: to prove the defendant's distribution of the hack, and if Sony would be allowed to sue GeoHot in his home state or in San Fransisco, where they believe most of the downloading occured. Um...ok. So why do you need EVERYONE's IP to make that call? Just having the website and proving it's his and where he started it should be enough.

Sony has previously stated that they will sue anyone who uploads/posts/distributes the hacking tools. Having all of those IP's in their possession probably doesn't hurt either. I get the feeling they are going to be doing a massive ban of PSN accounts based off the IP's. So those who may have visited the website, but never went past the homepage, never downloaded anything, never linked with anyone, never provided the website anywhere, are going to get hit. I understand that jail breaking the PS3 is a big deal. But I feel they're going a bit too far on requesting IP addresses for everyone that has visited the website. It's just asking for privacy and additional legal issues.

Friday, March 04, 2011

RE5, The Movie!

From a U.S. consumer's perspective, I'm not understanding why they are making another Resident Evil movie. Internationally, the series has done pretty well. The last film, Afterlife, did over $200 million. That's more then the first three movies combined. It only did $60 million in the U.S. So while it may be loosing U.S. appeal, it's a big hit everywhere else.

Good on them.

Is it becoming a little silly? You bet. But there's clearly a market for RE movies, whether we like it or not. They have steadily growing in appeal in the U.S., but not at the same rate as abroad. This is more of tens of millions, not hundreds of millions. And apparently it's the second highest grossing "zombie" related franchise of all time. Did not know that. Currently information is limited, other then knowing it's another RE movie, it'll have the same cast, again, and it'll be released in 2012. I get that it'd be impossible to do a direct adaptation of one of the games, but now they're going into crazy land on the story that none of it feels relate-able to anything in the Capcom series. *shrugs* There's a viewer base for it, so they'll keep making them.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Game Gear to 3DS

One of Nintendo's announcements this week at the gaming conference in San Fransisco is a plan to bring several Sega Game Gear titles to the Nintendo 3DS digital store. Anyone else slightly amused that Sega has completely turned over to the Nintendo system? But it's also a wonderful timing of events. This year marks 20 years of the Sega Game Gear (and me feeling much, much older).

Nintendo plans to initially release 5 games to the digital store-front along with classic GameBoy games (announced back at their press conference in January). As Nintendo's digital store has had an abundance of Sega system-oriented games for quite some time, the addition of the Game Gear games is nice, but not as big of a deal as it may have been 3-4 years ago.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Jungle Pulled. Thank God.

In the one smart move from Panasonic this year, they have stopped the Jungle project. The portable MMO system on Linux. Brilliant idea. >.> *Please note the sarcasm.*

According to Reuters, Panasonic dropped the project to focus their attention to the health-care and government fields as the market for their system has changed.  More accurately, there was no market for their system. A Linux that plays MMO's? Right. Good thinking.

While it is unknown if testers that signed up months ago were given a chance to play the system, rumors are circulating that the system was too small, too clunky, and really didn't suffice to MMO gaming on the go. And it's Linux. Before anyone yells, I have nothing against Linux. But there are so few games in existence that work on the Linux OS that to try and make a system that runs Linux and MMO's is, for lack of a better word, stupid. WoW isn't on Linux. There goes 10 million players right there. At least The Jungle gave me a few months of humor. Glad Panasonic wizened up and stopped the project.